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Certifiably Surly
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  1. Yep an average of an average of an average of .... yielding a single number should always be scrutinized.
  2. @Frank Drebin - thank you for posting that! A quick link to 2022 grade 8 math data: https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/mathematics/states/groups/?grade=8 Texas white: 284 Texas hispanic: 265 Texas black: 260 Texas asian: 307 Wisconsin white: 291 Wisconsin hispanic: 264 Wisconsin black: 237 Wisconsin asian: 288 Link to 2022 4th grade reading: https://www.nationsreportcard.gov/reading/states/groups/?grade=4 Texas white: 228 Texas hispanic: 205 Texas black: 204 Texas asian: 251 Wisconsin white: 226 Wisconsin hispanic: 202 Wisconsin black: 186 Wisconsin asian: 219 Texas 7, Wisconsin 1 - I picked 2 at random Fixating on averages can and may result in poor decision making Grade 4 literacy rates are directly correlated (and likely causal) to adult success, fwiw.
  3. LT bond writers and/or proponents ignored recent cautionary tales if they put everything in 1 or 2 bonds. RRISD set the example on how to do this around 15-20 years ago. A few years after the ~$36mm bond to build "The Palace on Parmer" (Kelly Reeves Athletic Center), darn near every bond failed. Someone on the school board or at the administration office (impossible that it was one of the superintendents, as they were mouth-breathers) had an idea to (1) split into many bonds and (2) make sure each bond impacted EVERY school in the district in some fashion. Johnny's middle school gets new carpet. Sally's elementary gets a revamped cafeteria. Holly's high school gets a new performing arts center. etc. From memory, I can think of few bonds that have failed in RRISD since. I concede that I could be misremembering details and that some bonds could have failed... Prosper receiving $100mm from recapture is insane.
  4. Totally agree that EVA > United. Of the 7 or so trips I made to Taipei, I took EVA 2 times. It is definitely superior to United, but its time/day options were a little more limited than United. Also, I was able to fly business, so the United experience was not as poor as it would have been in coach.
  5. I have never and will never fly spirit or frontier. There are far too many stories to share, but ones that stand out are canceled flights that result in you being stuck in your location for another 2-3 days. Even on SWA, there is a 100% chance you are out of there within 12 hours. For business, I try to optimize travel time, convenience, and cost - and in that order. I often will schedule a direct flight out of Austin at 6a to optimize travel time, only to regret it when I have to wake at 3:30a to get there. However, I arrive on the west coast w/ a full day. I typically avoid SWA coming from the west coast toward Austin, esp. at the end of the day, as they are notoriously behind schedule out of places like SJC. A former colleague did tons of flying to SFO and Taiwan - and I did a few times. His airline of choice was United, as SFO is a United hub and they have a daily direct flight to Taipei. For family, I use a similar calculus, but a little more biased toward cost. SWA often gets a lean here with their baggage "leniency" and their availability at some destinations. A mistake some folks make is saving $$ on tickets by taking a late flight to a destination (or early flight home), not realizing that they are spending the money w/ another day of hotel or a lost day visiting. None of the calculus will ever result in Spirit or Frontier. When the Spirit/Frontier merger was announced a common response was, "They wanted to make the unquestioned worst airline in the world."
  6. Austin location already shuttered. Elgin location closing. Ran out of money, it appears. https://www.mysanantonio.com/food/article/circle-brewing-closing-austin-18375336.php A popular Austin brewing company shuttered its original location earlier this year after more than a decade, leaving only its newer Elgin operation open. For fans of the brand's Blur hefeweizen, there's some more bad news out there this week. On Monday, September 18, Circle Brewing announced that it is completely shutting down after almost 15 years in business. "It is with a heavy heart and the utmost sadness that we must announce the closing of Circle Brewing Company," the owners Ben Sabel and Judson Mulherin wrote on Facebook, acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic played a major factor in the demise of the business. Started in 2008, the original Braker Lane location opened its doors in 2010, first as a distribution-only brewery and eventually as a taproom. That era saw an enormous upswing in breweries opening all over Central Texas, like Austin Beerworks, Jester King, and 512 Brewing, among dozens of others. In 2019, the company purchased 23 acres in Elgin, just east of Austin. The idea was to create a brewery that was fully farm-to-glass: grown, brewed, and poured onsite. "Then Covid came along to ensure the buildout took forever and cost twice as much," the owners wrote. Sabel and Mulherin write that their biggest regret is not seeing the Elgin vision through.
  7. This is a horrific student recruiting video. aTm was one of many colleges we visited for my youngest last year. I was pleasently surprised that NONE of the tour, videos, etc. were anything like this. It would have turned off nearly 100% of the crowd. The primary tour guides (aTm students) gave a single uninspired "whoop" during the tour as we stopped near Kyle Field. Our engineering dept tour guide was one of the heads of admissions - and an Aggie alumnus. He focused on the department, research, faculty, and facilities. None of the foolishness I feared. As an entity, though, they just cannot seem to modernize. And maybe they do not feel the need. They have record enrollment, which is good for business. The penchant of their leadership to collossally screw up the management and handing of female and minority administrative and faculty talent should eventually lead to a major modernization. Well, that's what I keep saying to myself... And hoping for, as a Texas resident and taxpayer.
  8. Tweet found on the MSU thread. Credit @4th&Five Looks like MSU might have a way to get out of that shitty contract they signed w/ Mel.
  9. Eldest daughter - UT grad - lives in upper-east-side right now and works as a teacher at a MS in the Bronx. She's presently completing her Masters degree at one of the CUNY schools there while working full time. There is a huge contingent of Texas-exes there (not sure if your daughter graduated from Texas) and she can easily and quickly connect with folks that way. This is our daughter's 5th year in NYC and my wife just helped her move into her 4th apartment. As you might expect, it is far more affordable if you have a roommate. Also, it is infinitely easier to find a place if you or your daughter are already there, which should be of no surprise. Also, renters need to have an annual salary of 40x-45x of monthly rent to rent a place in NYC. As a result, the first couple of years, we (and roommates parents) had to serve as guarantors - roommates were either fully funded by parents or were in grad school. Her early roommates were classmates at UT, so she did not have to play any sort of "roommate roulette." Not sure how much you like to visit NYC, but if you do, that can be a part of the calculus for an apartment. Hotel rates can be quite high in the city, so subsidizing your kid's apartment might be a good tradeoff depending on your love of NYC.
  10. This is a strong list of schools. As has been noted, UO will be almost automatic. UW very close. Friend's daughter went to Maryland for Public Health - loved it and is gainfully employed. Step-niece attended Maryland and has a PhD in molecular and cellular biology. Also loved it. You should consider suggesting again and possibly visiting. I know the NE and MW does not interest her, but... Also consider Minnesota (or any other university with a close affiliation to a VERY strong research and medical school). Minnesota is a fantastic school and the Mayo Clinic affiliation helps. Daughter 2 and I visited there for a different major - in December. LOVED the campus, but the program was not what she wanted. Make no mistake, it gets really fucking cold there. Ohio State has a really good medical school and - by extension - public health school. I visited there w/ my daughters. Nice campus; strong programs; not as cold as Minnesota. But... too many of their football fans are fucking assholes. So you have to keep that in mind. Another advantage of most large state schools - and larger private schools - is flexibility in changing majors. There is a chance a kid will change majors and they may want to stay at the same school. But definitely ask (and perhaps do some research on your own)- if SA's-Daughter wants to change from Public Health to Computer Science, what would it take? A place like UT Austin would say, "it can happen, but do not count on it." That would mean, "it ain't happening." Many schools are at capacity in their programs. And they do not flunk out 20+% of their freshman on an annual basis like when we were young. So, there's no room. Last, you might consider suggesting she take the SAT one more time. She has a great score (96+ percentile nationally) and she'll hate the idea, but it could help a bit with placement in some of the more competitive colleges.
  11. @Al Bundy's Napoleon Hand - fantastic song. Might be the best song on that release. Yes, better than "Nothing Compares 2 U"
  12. A more recent live version of Nothing Compares 2 U.
  13. Thought of this song as I read this thread. Suspiciously "peaceful" but the lyrics are quite bitter. Lyrics https://genius.com/James-were-going-to-miss-you-lyrics
  14. @PRONG HORN - thanks for that - the version from Letterman is quite good, too. I recall seeing it "back in the day"
  15. With the payment the same, the $$ out of pocket - if held to the entire term - will be the same. Definitely check the numbers or the contract. You may have paid more for a lower rate. Doing some quick calculations on my own... Just examples... Assuming a 5 year term, $30k at 8% is the same payment as $31.5k at 6%. In the 30/8% case, you'll owe less over the first 3 years if you choose to sell during that time. At the very end of the term, you'll have paid the same amount. However, on the 8% loan, you'll have paid around $1450 more in interest overall. The math is straightforward w/ a spreadsheet, so definitely Do the math. Personally, I would want to understand what motivated the seller/dealer/finance-co to change the terms of the contract w/o your consent or knowledge. That part worries me.
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